Alexander Solzhenitsyn, fully Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn, fully Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

Soviet and Russian Novelist, Dramatist and Historian

Author Quotes

You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power - he's free again.

No one in our time finds it surprising if a man gives careful daily attention to his body, but people would be outraged if he gave the same attention to his soul.

Meanwhile no such thing as internal affairs remains on our crowded Earth. Mankind's salvation lies exclusively in everyone's making everything his business.

Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience... from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation.

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

Human beings yield in many situations, even important and spiritual and central ones, as long as it prolongs one's well-being.

A great writer is, so to speak, a second government in his country. And for that reason no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.

When you have robbed a man of everything, he is no longer in your power. He is free again.

It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.

If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.

Every nation without exception, however persecuted, however cheated, however flawlessly righteous it feels itself to be today, has certainly at one time or another contributed its share of inhumanity.

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away form them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s not longer in your power – he’s free again.

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.

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Solzhenitsyn, fully Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
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Soviet and Russian Novelist, Dramatist and Historian